Testing times for wildlife over leak

Weaponess beck pollution ,Enviromental Analysis Agency members Dave Barber and Hannah Ramsay inspect the beck.114209a.Picture Richard Ponter
Weaponess beck pollution ,Enviromental Analysis Agency members Dave Barber and Hannah Ramsay inspect the beck.114209a.Picture Richard Ponter

INVESTIGATIONS are still under way at the site of a pollution leak in the Weaponness area of Scarborough.

Experts from the Environment Agency were on site yesterday taking samples in the beck to assess how it may be affecting the area’s wildlife.

They were alerted to a problem in the area last week, when residents raised concerns about dark sludge in the beck and a tar-like odour in the air.

A spokeswoman from the Environment Agency has now confirmed that chemicals found in the water are likely to have come from the former gas works site off Seamer Road, where digging work has been taking place.

This has also been backed up by Scarborough Council, who are hoping to move their Dean Road depot to the site.

Andy Skelton, Scarborough Council’s head of environmental services, said: “Samples taken from the watercourse show that the materials in the stream are the same as from the old gas works site.

“This is essentially a mix of different hydrocarbons – tars and waxes – resulting from the production of ‘town gas’. In the places and quantities found the materials will not cause a hazard to health, but residents should avoid the beck and keep pets and children away until the clean-up operation is finished.

“While there is still some smell evident near the stream, this is likely to be from the material deposited along the banks. This will be removed when the stream is cleaned.

“The contractors at the site will undertake this clean-up as soon as permitted by the Environment Agency. In the interim residents may wish to keep doors and windows closed if any odour is present.”